Silent Witness

The dead can tell us many things, they are silent witnesses to things which might well be missed and at this moment in time, apologists for the Govt and their handling of this pandemic, should we believe NOT be given national platforms to get in early excuses for the avoidance of responsibility for the current Govt’s handling of the pandemic.

David Spiegelhalter a statistician and professor of the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, claimed yesterday in The Guardian, we should not compare international variation in death rates from coronavirus as yet, and would not be able to do so for some time.

We personally have to disagree with him. The EuroMoMo website that says this of itself:

  • EuroMOMO is a European mortality monitoring activity, aiming to detect and measure excess deaths related to seasonal influenza, pandemics and other public health threats.

  • Official national mortality statistics are provided weekly from the 24 European countries in the EuroMOMO collaborative network, supported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

They provide comparisons as that is their job They do so by normalising the data using Z scores (explained here) so that comparison is possible.

This is their most recent comparison for the four countries which make up the UK:

Screenshot from 2020-05-01 10-01-42

The comparisons are real, and telling. England is doing much worse than the rest of the UK.

No other country has a profile like that of England.

This is Spain:

Screenshot from 2020-05-01 10-05-03

This is Italy

Screenshot from 2020-05-01 10-06-52

And this is France

Screenshot from 2020-05-01 10-08-00

Comparisons can be made, and something is very wrong indeed in what has happened in the NHS in England, alone, as the dead – the silent witnesses – clearly show.

There has to be political accountability for this. And to say comparisons cannot be made now is to seek to support the avoidance of responsibility on the part of those who have failed.

David Spiegelhalter is wrong we honestly believe. We should be talking about differences, now.

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

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4 Comments on Silent Witness

  1. To be totally fair and correct in any assessment and comparison you must consider the ‘variables’ that may affect results – this would include amongst other data a countries population density etc. – a direct comparison is not necessarily the truth? But often suits headline journalism for the tabloids ( Not Shepway Vox? )

    • shepwayvox // May 1, 2020 at 11:05 // Reply

      Thanks L B. EuroMoMo DO take all those variables into account, as is made very clear on their site.

  2. Well reported, I think you can compare countries and their responses, some countries have managed death tolls in the tens. I understand foreign media has been scathing of this countries response, a bit like when Italy had high figures and the UK newspapers attacked Italys handling of the crisis.

  3. It is easy to call for political accountability when no-one will ever know how well the opposition would have handled this.
    Imagine the outcry if a Govt was constantly spending money to replace lifed equipment “just in case”, I am sure Shepwayvox would question this.
    Having gone from a manufacturing based economy to a service based one, it is not surprising that demand outstrips supply, it also shows the weakness of the Just In Time model when many Nations are demanding the same kit.

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